At 88, Phyllis Diller considered 90 “old.” She was thrilled with work she’d had done on her face. And she was really enjoying having no responsibilities and being able to “just goof off all the time.”
Diller, the trailblazing comic who died Monday in her sleep at age 95, sat down in 2005 with Barbara Schroeder, author of “Beverly Hills Confidential: A Century of Stars, Scandals and Murder,” and shared some tidbits of wisdom and a peek or three at the products of another passion, her art.
Diller shared how she’d like to be remembered: “I’d like to be known for funny, ‘cause that’s my major work,” Diller told Schroeder. But yes, she’d also “like to be known as an artist.”
The first painting Diller shows in the video above, an oil of a stage curtain and a spotlight, titled “And Now...,” is from 1963 — her first painting. Another, “Coeur d’Amor,” her newest at the time, “flowed right out of my arm,” she said.
“An example of love is to think objectively about other people. Most people are so subjective. Everything is I, I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me, me. Gimme gimme gimme. Needy, needy,” she said. However, “the more you give, the more you get. It just rolls in. Especially if you give unselfishly.”
“And Now ... ,” which sets the stage for a comic, hangs in her entry with dozens of her other works, according to a 2002 tour The Times took of her 10,000-square-foot Brentwood home.
“It was the house I always dreamed of,” she said of the 1914 residence, “and here it was, already built.”
She bought it in 1965.
“This house is perfect for me,” she told The Times a decade ago. “I never want to leave. In fact, when I moved in, I said, ‘I hope I go out of here feet first.’”
And according to her manager, speaking with CNN, her son Perry found her there Monday “with a smile on her face.”